Orihuela

ORIHUELA

Situated fifty seven kilometers south-west of Alicante, Orihuela is the capital of what is called La Vega Baja (the fertile lowlands), one of the largest regions in the province of Valencia on the Costa Blanca.
Famous for the palmeral, a huge palm tree forest, and the river Seguria, Orihuela has been the headquarters of the bishop, which contributes to large parts of its important and architecture. Considering that many of these palaces and churches have been recognised as national monuments, for those of you who like to see history and culture, the city is a perfect excursion.
It has one of the largest cultural heritages in this area and was home to the famous Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez. It reached its peak of importance in the VIII century when it was the main headquarters of the Dukedom of Teodomiro. This nobleman converted Orihuela into the capital of the Christian kingdom. Later on, during Muslim rule, the city was able to conserve its independence until the IX century. It was reconquered by Jaime I in 1265 and given to Castilla although it was repopulated by people from Catalunya and Aragon. In the XVI century, it was graced with being the Episcopal headquarters.
OrihuelaThere are two important monuments to see:-
The Cathedral and the Palace of Rubalcalva. The Cathedral was built on the grounds of a mosque that had once been there in the XII century, and is in a Gothic style.
Through the entrance door (door of Loreto) added in the XV century, you can lay your eyes on a beautiful Baroque organ. Through another entrance, the Renaissance style is evident.
The Palace of Rubalcava was inhabited by members of this family up until 1933 and in 1976 it became the property of the town. It has a sweeping marble staircase that takes you up to the noble main salons – the red salon with family portraits, the yellow salon used nowadays for weddings, the dance hall or hall of mirrors with a French air.
Just at the back of the palace you will find the church of Santiago which was built in the 15th century. Inside of the church an impressive sculpture of the family of Francisco Salzillo dominates part of a chapel.

Around the entire area of Orihuela, you will find many more churches and palaces, such as the church of Santas Justa and Rufina or the palace of Conde de Granja or the cathedral de San Salvador. With a further handful of interesting museums and buildings, Orihuela is one of the most impressive towns if you want to get a cultural break from your villa holiday. Past Elche, so you can see both on a day's excursion.

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